In order to reduce drunk driving in New Hampshire, police officers are trained to look for certain clues that may tell them if a motorist is driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). The process police use to decide whether or not to arrest a driver can be broken down into three parts:
- Observing the Driver. When on the road, police often watch the behavior of other drivers for signs that indicate the driver may be impaired by alcohol or drugs. These may include taking certain risks, such as turning or merging too quickly into traffic, or slowed reactions to things like brake lights or stop signs.
- Initial Contact. When a police officer first speaks to a driver suspected of driving drunk, the officer is looking to see whether the motorist has slurred speech, poor coordination, the smell of alcohol, or open alcohol containers in the vehicle. Officers use these signs to decide whether or not to require the driver to take one or more field sobriety tests.